Featured Speaker State Treasurer Janet Cowell
Elected in 2008, she is the state’s popularly elected 27th Treasurer and is the first woman to win the post.
Treasurer Cowell oversees more than $80 billion dollars in pension fund investments for more than 875,000 teachers, firefighters, and public employees of North Carolina. She is the Chair of the State Banking Commission, supervising the state’s banking system, and serves on the boards of State Education and Community Colleges.
As of January 1, 2012, Cowell has stepped up to oversee the State Health Plan, recognizing an opportunity to provide enhanced governance and accountability of critical health benefits provided to the 650,000 members in North Carolina.
Under her executive leadership as Treasurer, the state has maintained a triple-A Bond rating for strong financial and debt management practices, and is recognized as one of only nine states to earn the rating by all three rating agencies (Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s Investment Services, and Fitch Ratings.)
North Carolina’s pension system is ranked 2nd in the nation by Pew Center on the States. In addition, North Carolina has outperformed the national average for public pension funds by 22%, ranking 3rd in the nation by Standard and Poor’s in 2012.
A recent member of the Wharton School of Business Global Executive Education Board and a champion of financial education for citizens of all ages, Cowell visited many of North Carolina’s institutes of higher learning to educate students on managing debt, and recently co-founded and launched Advanced Money Management for Community College Students.
As a result of her efforts, K-12 students in North Carolina will begin receiving financial education as part of social studies curriculum in 2012-2013.
Cowell worked as a financial analyst with organizations including HSBC Bank and Lehman Brothers in Asia before making her home in North Carolina in 1997.
Living in Raleigh, North Carolina, she provided business consulting to various Fortune 500 companies and served as an adjunct professor at two institutions of higher learning in the state.
In 2001, Cowell began contributing her financial expertise and leadership to work for the citizens of North Carolina. She was twice elected to Raleigh City Council and served three years, representing more than 350,000 constituents. In 2004, she was elected to the North Carolina State Senate, representing Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park.
Cowell’s career encompasses 19 years of ethical leadership and financial management for organizations locally, nationally, and internationally, in both the public and private sectors. Her policies on economic development, innovation, and making government work for the citizens of North Carolina have earned her two Legislator of the Year awards including Environmental Legislator of the Year as a NC senator.
Now in her 10th year of elected office, and with the nation facing unprecedented economic challenges, Cowell continues the conservative debt practices and solid economic development policies that keep North Carolina in secure financial standing. She is proud to serve the citizens of North Carolina as State Treasurer and remains committed to working each day to build and maintain a fiscally strong and prosperous North Carolin